Why it's done

Cardiac ablation is a procedure that's used to correct heart rhythm problems.

When your heart beats, the electrical impulses that cause it to contract must follow a precise pathway through your heart. Any interruption in these impulses can cause an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), which can sometimes be treated with cardiac ablation.

Ablation isn't usually your first treatment option. Ablation is a treatment option for people who:

  • Have tried medications to treat an arrhythmia without success
  • Have had serious side effects from medications to treat arrhythmias
  • Have certain types of arrhythmias that respond well to ablation, such as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and supraventricular tachycardia
  • Have a high risk of complications from their arrhythmias, such as sudden cardiac arrest
Dec. 30, 2016
References
  1. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Therapy for cardiac arrhythmias. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 29, 2016.
  2. Zipes DP, et al., eds. Catheter ablation: Technical aspects. In: Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 29, 2016.
  3. Zipes DP, et al., eds. Catheter ablation: Clinical aspects. In: Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 29, 2016.
  4. Ganz LI. Overview of catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 29, 2016.
  5. Catheter ablation. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ablation. Accessed July 29, 2016.
  6. Arrhythmia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arr. Accessed Aug. 10, 2016.
  7. Brown A. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 6, 2016.
  8. Schwanke BR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 16, 2016.
  9. Deshmukh AJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 18, 2016.